Guest Post & Review: HE BELONGS TO ME by Theresa Rizzo
He Belongs to Me is a love story . . . a tale of betrayal and deception and of a young mother’s determination to recover what belongs to her.
Forced to leave her baby and tricked into relinquishing her parental rights, four years later Catherine Boyd is back and she’ll do anything to regain custody of her son–even reconcile with the husband falsely accused of killing their son’s twin.
All in the name of love for a little boy, generations of pain and tragedy are exposed in a courtroom drama.
Theresa Rizzo, The Hopeless Romantic
Today, Theresa takes over our post with her thoughts on being a Hopeless Romantic. Take a look at what she has to say…
My debut book, He Belongs to Me addresses family dynamics that involve a lot of drama, however I’m hoping readers end the book with a feeling of hope and satisfaction. I don’t believe that love can conquer all, however without love—you don’t even have a chance.
Families involve multiple relationships, and relationships, in my experience, are rarely simple. People are complex, so doesn’t it stand to reason that relationships would also be complicated? Everybody has his or her own experiences and hang-ups that they bring to each relationship—mother–daughter, sister–brother, husband–wife, employer—employee, Friend . . .
He Belongs to Me highlights a lot of family dynamic—which were complicated further by tragedy, parenting mistakes, and poor judgment. A general lack of communication made things worse, destroying trust and damaging love in many of the relationships. Yet, the issues and problems they experienced should be something that the majority of readers can sympathize with—if not identify with.
I believe that few people truly come from a leave-it-to-Beaver family. There are a lot of things I hope readers take away from this story. Redemption. Compassion. Forgiveness. Hope. Determination and Love.
People screw up. We ALL make mistakes, but the measure of the person is how he/she owns her mistake, learns from it, apologizes and tries to atone for it and becomes a better person. And I believe all that can be accomplished if we open our hearts.
Catherine’s parents weren’t evil people. I truly believe they did the best they could at the time. Catherine and Thomas weren’t weak, selfish kids when they separated—statistics prove that the death of a child is more-often than not a mortal blow to most marriages. They did their best.
In the end, I’m a hopeless romantic. If two people were meant to be, if they are both stronger and happier together than they are apart . . . if they respect each other . . . they will find the courage to push past their fears to learn to forgive and to rebuild the trust and allow love to blossom.
What about you? Are you a hopeless romantic?
Thank you, Theresa, for stopping by! Love your insights and we are hopeless romantics, too!
Dawn’s Review 3.5 Stars
He Belongs to Me marks Theresa Rizzo’s debut novel and it is definitely a drama-filled one! Catherine and her husband, Thomas, married young, had twins, and when one died, their lives fell apart. They lived separate lives for almost five years, during which time, Catherine’s parents cared for their remaining child while Catherine left for college. Catherine was ready to resume her life after graduation and provide a home for her son. What ensues is a custody battle for her child because her parents don’t want to let him go. Add back in Thomas who has returned to help get Drew, their son, back and the drama level went up even further!
I was definitely caught up in the trial and the build up to it. So many secrets and hidden agendas were unveiled throughout the story that I never felt like I knew how it would finish. Catherine’s parents could be cruel and didn’t have a clue about raising their own children but they seemed exceptional with their grandson. I could see where they could have the upper hand in the situation which scared me for Drew! And there were some very sweet moments between Catherine and Thomas – she got him and his worries as a parent. I thought his fears were addressed really well. They were both still very young but had a maturity level much higher than their age.
Well-written story that was a not a quick one sitting read for me but it was certainly one that kept me wondering what bomb was going to drop next and how this tenuous situation could resolve itself for all involved.
Abby’s Review 3 Stars
I liked this story. There were a ton of moments that I really connected with Catherine. Catherine is a mom who has been through some great tragedies. She left her son with her parents while she finished school, only to discover that they never had any intention of giving him back. This is the story of her fight for her marriage and son.
I could not visualize Catherine in my head and this is a problem for me. It makes the whole thing hard to play out in my head. I also had a hard time completely connecting with Thomas. He has some very endearing and sweet moments. There were also moments where I found him completely self involved and I was easily irritated with him.
This is a long story but by the end I thought that there were some nice surprises that made me glad that I stuck it out. It is also well written.
Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.
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